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Decisions in negotiations are simply behavior. Behavior is driven by emotions. Therefore, emotions are an essential component to negotiations. Incorporating emotions, rather than attempting to eliminate or suppress them, provides knowledge and knowledge is power. Power may also be obtained in recognizing emotions are predicable and consistent.

The Process Therapy Model

Taibi Kahler, Ph.D., explains how to identify and work with people and their emotions in his Process Theory Model. In this theory, each person has in his/her psyche or “personality condominium” six personality traits. The most dominant trait consists of the base and each next dominant trait subsequently builds upon it. The six personality types identified by Dr. Kahler consist of the following: 1) thinker; 2) believer/persister; 3) doer/promoter; 4) feeler/harmonizer; 5) funster/rebel; and 6) dreamer/imaginer. The corresponding behaviors are as follows:

Thinker : identifies and categorizes people and things.
Persister: evaluates people and things with opinions.
Harmonizer: takes in people and things by how they feel about them.
Imaginer: reflections, motivated into things by things and people.
Rebel: reacts to people with likes and dislikes.
Promoter: Actions; experiences situations and makes things happen. Fulfilling Psychological Needs

A prerequisite to dealing effectively with others, we must have our own psychological needs met. Likewise, before a participant may effectively engage in decision making, that participant must have the certainty and consistency of their basic psychological and physical needs being fulfilled. Dr. Kahler noted the primary needs relative to each psychological type:

Psychological Type Psychological Need
Thinker Recognition of Work, Time Structure
Persister Recognition of Work, Conviction
Harmonizer Recognition of Person, Sensory
Imaginer Solitude
Rebel Contact
Promoter Incidence

The ability to recognize these varying needs in one’s personality traits is very beneficial. The more we know about someone’s personality traits, the more we can generate positive interactions with them. By simply shifting one’s focus to highlight what is most important to an individual, one will possess a greater ability to connect with participants. This leads to an increased motivation within the participant to cooperate in negotiations, an increased ability to make decision and reach a conflict resolution. In a very real sense, how we say something is more important than what we say.

Equally as important to an effective mediator is the need to recognize when a participant is becoming distressed. Distress occurs when one is not getting his/her psychological needs met. Dr. Kahler notes each psychological type will react in very distinct ways. As a rule, each type will present one of three types of “masks” when entering distress:

The Attacker, The Drooper, and The Blamer. The following table is a compilation of Dr. Kahler’s theory.
Masks Psychological types Distress Behavior

The Attacker Thinker When they aren’t recognized for their work and time structure they tend to turn on other people & over control, are easily frustrated about fairness, money, responsibility, and are critical of others around thinking issues.

The Attacker Persister Persisters who don’t feel respected for their dedication to their work and values will push their beliefs and criticize others for being uncommitted.

The Drooper Harmonizer When they don’t feel appreciated for who they are, they often second- guess themselves, experience self- doubt, openly invites criticism and make mistakes.

The Drooper Imaginer When they don’t have specific directions and tasks to work on during their alone time, they
may “freeze,” become isolated and wonder if others want them around.

The Blamer Rebel When they find themselves in a place without stimulation and fun they tend to get bored seeking negative attention by blaming things and situations on others.

The Blamer Promoter When they don’t experience a great deal of excitement in a short amount of time, they tend to create negative excitement by setting up arguments, creating negative drama and break

Dr. Kahler continues to develop additional process vital to fulfilling each personalities psychological needs in a positive manner. This is done through the use of different channels used for communications with each type. The basic term or principal is that what we say is not as important as how we say it.

Regarding issues of airworthiness, each personality type, and their psychological needs, those needs may be positively met with a unique approach to each.

A Thinker must be given data. That data may simply be an inventory of log books and other aircraft records that show compliance with the FAR’S. This allows the Thinker to make list and categorize any issues and make a determination of regulatory compliance.

A Persister must be asked their opinion on whether or not regulatory compliance was completed. Any issues the Persister may raise must be addressed by seeking and perceived demonstration of respecting their opinion.
The Harmonizer will need to feel that they are fulfilling the desires and needs of other involved that the Harmonizer values.

The Imaginer is the most difficult to fulfill in a technically related matter. Data is only useful to create a single task assignment for the Imaginer. One or a series of single task assignments may be provided until the Imaginer is satisfied. As airworthiness requires a list of regulatory requirement to be fulfilled, a single task such as determining AD compliance is accurate may be followed with a calculation of time in service. The Imaginer is going to be motivated by the particular aircraft and the people involved.

The Rebel is going to be fulfilled by the group moving the same direction. Regardless of that direction. If the majority is trending toward a conclusion of regulatory compliance then that is where the Rebel is going to go while attempting to draw others with them. Again, the motivation is based upon emotions, not data.

The Promoter is going to have a position. The positive psychological needs are going to be fulfilled by anyone that supports that position and makes obtaining that position the result of the process.

Decisions are based upon emotions. Dr. Kahler provides a model to effectively obtain decisions. Practicing his model will allow participants to perceive that a neutral empathizes with the participants on an individual level. And, that empathy is a vital element of dispute resolution.


The unsettled law of defining airworthiness and airmen’s duties owed make it a good question of fact that should be resolved by ADR means except in the most select cases. The attorney fees and cost of litigation, and even arbitration, usually exceeds the amount of damages claimed. The management of emotions may facilitate minimizing cost and time as well.

As an advocate, a client is well served through preparation for negotiations through the life cycle of a transaction and any related disputes. As a neutral, empathy for and aligning the interest of all parties is essential to effectively negotiate good settlements through ADR.

We Resolve Disputes.TM